A 9-year-old boy, who was shot and killed in Chicago’s Gresham neighborhood, may have been targeted, Chicago Police say.
The boy, Tyshawn Lee, was playing basketball at a park next to his grandmother’s home late on Monday afternoon when a group of unidentified people began having an argument nearby. The child had joined the group at some point, but it is unknown if he knew any of them. As the argument grew, someone pulled a gun and fired several shots, at least two of which struck the child.
Police say that the shooting occurred around 4:15 PM. The boy was struck in the head and neck and died almost instantly.
Police also say they can’t rule out that the child was the intended target. “It’s unclear if this was a targeted incident or a tragic case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Chief of Detectives Dean Andrews said.
The boy was on his way to his grandmother’s house where he was to be picked up by his mother after school.
His grandmother Bertha Lee told the media that she saw the boy’s body. “I saw the body in the alley. He was lying in blood,” Lee said. “But I didn’t see his face.”
The boy’s mother said that her son had dreams of playing for the NBA and that he had been taking his basketball to school for some time.
“He’s a good kid. He didn’t deserve that, he didn’t deserve that,” Karla Lee said. “Emotions? They’re gone. I don’t have my baby no more.”
Already, though, one group looking to pry more tax dollars out of the state legislature is using little Tyshawn’s death to push its budget and spending agenda.
Emily Miller, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the group Voice For Illinois Children, told Chicago’s WLS radio that Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-led Illinois legislature are at fault for the boy’s death because the two parties haven’t come together to pass a state budget that pays for after school programs.
Miller, though, admitted that she had no idea if Tyshawn Lee was ever enrolled in any such programs or if there were even any offered at Joplin Elementary School where he attended.
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